'Detroit Dark Red' Beet
Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris
Improvement status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~150
Germination tested 11/2023: 77%
Life cycle: Biennial
Detroit Dark Red' is the classic red beet and by far the most popular and widely grown heirloom beet cultivar. It was selected from 'Early Blood' turnip in the late 1800s by a Mr. Reeves (first name unknown) in the town of Port Hope, Ontario, roughly midway between Toronto and Belleville on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It was introduced to commerce in 1892 by the Detroit-based seed company D.M. Ferry and Co. (now Ferry-Morse Seed Company), who presumably gave it the name 'Detroit Dark Red.'
This cultivar is an all-around all-purpose beet, used for fresh market, processing, and home gardens. The roots are good raw, roasted, steamed, pickled, or juiced. The dark green leaves are also delicious and nutritious. It's considered easy to grow and widely adapted.
Our seed comes from Jennifer Williams of Wild Dreams Farm on Vashon Island, Washington.